A mythical king of the Molossians, in Epeirus, who is represented as the husband of Persephone, and father of Kore. After Theseus, with the assistance of Pirithous, had carried off Helen, and concealed her at Aphidnae [see Academus], he went with Pirithous to Epeirus to procure for him as a reward Kore, the daughter of Aidoneus.
This king thinking the two strangers were well-meaning suitors, offered the hand of his daughter to Pirithous, on condition that he should fight and conquer his dog, which bore the name of Cerberus. But when Aidoneus discovered that they had come with the intention of carrying off his daughter, he had Pirithous killed by Cerberus, and kept Theseus in captivity, who was afterwards released at the request of Heracles.1 Eusebius2 calls the wife of Aidoneus, a daughter of queen Demeter, with whom he had eloped.
It is clear that the story about Aidoneus is nothing but the sacred legend of the rape of Persephone, dressed up in the form of a history, and is undoubtedly the work of a late interpreter, or rather destroyer of genuine ancient myths.
- Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.
This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.